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Chief Anthony Ndukuba, a major rice dealer in Umuahia, expressed optimism that the price of rice would soon fall in Nigeria. Ndukuba expressed optimism, while speaking on the high price of the grain in the country. He said the grain would become affordable as soon as farmers begin to harvest in the next few months. “I am confident that there will be a bumper harvest this year. So, by November, the price of the commodity will definitely come down,” he said.
MAN urges members to apply best manufacturing practices
President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Jacobs said: “Inflation is not totally bad for an economy depending on the degree or rate it assumes. A creeping inflation of say two per cent to four per cent is healthy for an economy as it helps to stimulate aggregate production without dampening consumption, thereby leading to economic accentuation. Conversely, a run away inflation which is usually in double digit will not only dampen aggregate production and retard economic growth in an economy as factor costs increase; it will reduce aggregate consumption because consumers’ real income is eroded. ”
Suggesting the way forward, the MAN President said, “the ill-effects of the rising inflation on the economy can be mitigated if the following measures are taken:
Economic Diversification/Backward Integration
“Government needs to pay sincere attention to the repositioning of the industrial/manufacturing sector as it is better placed to quickly address issues of unemployment, wealth creation and revenue to Government. The diversification of the economy cannot be truly achieved if the manufacturing sector is neglected. The resource-based industrialisation and backward integration policies, which the government has adopted should be vigorously implemented through aggressive development of key selected mineral resources, especially those with high inter-industry linkage. These include iron ore, zinc-led, bitumen, limestone and coal; acceleration of activities geared towards backward integration in the agricultural sector to catalyze more industrial input supply for the manufacturing sector as well as provide food for Nigerians and effective deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector to encourage private investment in domestic refining and petrochemical industry.”
He continued: “The current special foreign exchange window created by the CBN for importation of industrial raw-materials and machinery should be well managed and transparently and sound economic management response should be put in place.
“At this period that the economy has gone into full recession, Government’s response must address the real issues that led to the inflation and adopt economic policies that will mitigate the situation. For instance, in the short term, funds should be made available to the manufacturing sector at 5 per cent interest rate. Also the 41 items of raw-materials that were excluded from the Forex market by the CBN should be reviewed, especially as the country now operates a flexible foreign exchange regime.
“Adequate and sound support infrastructure will encourage more domestic production in terms of volume of output and cost effectiveness. Therefore, the following measures are relevant in addressing the infrastructure gap: Domiciling gas price in Naira for manufacturing industries as against the current ‘dollarization’ so as to boost electricity self-generation by industries; taking a second look at privatisation as the current operators seem to be confused and lack the capacity to achieve desired results; encouragement of strong Public Private Partnership (PPP) in rail transportation; rehabilitation of existing roads and construction of new ones so as to open up the country in terms of movement of goods. If the issues identified above are sufficiently addressed, domestic commodity production will be boosted and this would lead to increased foreign commodity substitution. The result will be a gradual receding of inflation rate from the current 17.1 per cent to a desired level where the economy would be stable.”
NIM tasks FG on long term solution to economic challenges
The Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), said the Federal Government should seek long-term solution in re-positioning “Nigeria’s ailing economy.”
President of the Institute, Emeritus Prof. Munzali Jibril, made the call in Lagos at a news conference to announce the 2016 Annual National Management Conference (ANMC) of the institute. He said that the task of building a new Nigeria was imperative and more urgent than ever, especially now that the economy had gone into recession.
Jibril traced some of the reasons for the development challenges facing Nigeria to mismanagement of its abundant human and material resources. He said that the country had suffered policy somersaults which had made it almost impossible to build enduring economic and infrastructural legacies.
Skills in youths can enhance national development, says NOA D-G
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Garba Abari on his part said tapping into the positive features of Nigerian youths would enhance national development.
Abari said this in an interview with NAN, yesterday, in Abuja. He noted that the youths under the age of 35 constituted between 16 and 62 per cent of the country’s population, adding that there were varieties of talents which could be tapped for the advancement of the nation.
“A country like ours, with such a very large number of youths, must have to actually prioritise them in our national development plans, otherwise we shall be sitting on a keg of gun powder,” he said.
According to him, if the society fails to tap into the youthful assets, the country will witness impeded progress. Abari also said that the agency was doing a lot to ensure it fulfilled its mandate of instilling the right attitude in the general public by working with relevant stakeholders.
The D-G, however, noted that the synergy among stakeholders was in an attempt to reach a consensus on the need to factor in the huge population into the national development plan.
Need to amend procurement act
Expressing his view on the economic situation in the country, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, said that an amendment of the Public Procurement Act will fast track government spending on critical infrastructure.
Uwaleke said: “Without necessarily granting emergency powers to the President, the National Assembly can quickly amend relevant sections of the Public Procurement Act. This will enable a fast approach to government spending, especially on critical infrastructure such as roads, railways and power.”
He said that the diversification of the country’s productive base remained the long term solution to weak naira, with agriculture and solid minerals holding lots of promise in this regard.
Uwaleke said the weak infrastructure such as power and transport as well as high cost of petroleum products combined with the citizens’ penchant for foreign goods to increase commodity prices.
Adeosun disowns recession twit
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has denied twitting “recession is just a word”.
Her Special Assistant (Media) Mr. Festus Akanbi, said in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, that the minister did not own a twitter account, therefore the said twit was not from her.
He said: “The attention of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has been drawn to a fake Twitter handle in her name saying that ‘recession is just a word.’ For the avoidance of doubt, the Honourable Minister does not own a twitter account. The Twitter handle currently trending, and any other twitter handle presently in existence is not, and cannot be that of the Honourable Minister, as a twitter account has not yet been set up for her. It is obviously fake and does not represent the views and opinions of the Honourable Minister. “
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